WIP · Writing

It’s Spring! + Writing Burn-Out

Hey, everyone! As much as I adore the cold weather, I’m super-glad it’s spring…because spring means so many glorious photography opportunities (and reading out in the sun and not getting icy-cold.) The flowers are in bloom, the skies are blue, and in Greek mythology, Persephone has returned from the Underworld and is raising the flowers from the winter-soaked soil with Demeter.

Here are a handful of my favorite shots from the past few weeks!

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Apart from photographing flowers… I’m a HUGE astronomy nerd. This was taken from my backyard!

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So, at the beginning of the year, I wrote an outline of what I wanted to complete by the end of the year writing-wise. I totally admit: it was VERY adventurous. But…I wanted to push myself. I wanted to see how much I could accomplish. I wanted to stretch those writing muscles to the very limit. It was a personal test of mine—to see if I could do everything on my adventurous writing list. It took me six months to write MIDNIGHT QUEEN, so by the time I’d redrafted that, I sort of figured: hey, I might not finish everything on my list, but I gave it a go, I tried, I did as best as I could, and I pushed myself. Once I let go of the pressure, I heavily revised (as in rewrote, like, 99% of it) TEOS in just under two months.

I now have only two things left of my list for the year. It’s September, and it’s completely doable. I’m a quick writer, too (not as quick as some writers out there, but I can still get a lot of words down in a day) so theoretically, it should be easy to tick off all my writing goals for ’17.

It’s also impossible for me to not have a working WIP. I love to have something to brainstorm about. Something to write, or fix, or plot…to daydream about.

But, like most writers, my creativity cycle ebbs and flows.

Sometimes inspiration crashes into me, and I can’t get the words down quick enough. Other times it feels like the world has sucked all the words from me, and this is one of those times. I think every writer goes through cycles of creativity, and sometimes it’s SO HARD to get out when you’re in a rut, like I am now.

Writing right now is…hard, like pulling teeth, but it’s getting better slowly. I think it’s been a culmination of things: Drafting and revising so much already this year, I feel sort of burnt-out. I not only needed to recharge, but find the love again in writing and my current project. I’m currently working on THE FLAMES ARE LEGION (a brief rundown of the plot: a wyvern-tamer is forced into taming/training the rising dragons for the tyrannical witch-queen of the Empire and her army) after not touching it for over six months, and it’s a strange, but exciting experience, to fall back into my volcano-ridden, ash-covered, blood-filled world.

I realized something last night: I needed to figure this WIP—and myself—out before I could push on with this draft. So this morning I woke up. Made myself a cup of coffee (or two…) and got to work. I spent most of the morning on this WIP, and I think I’m finally, finally, finally working my way out of the rut I’ve been in for weeks, and it’s slowly feeling like a weight’s been lifted from my shoulders. To reignite that writing spark, I did the following things:

1. I wrote a pitch/query, as well as a synopsis. I’m not a huge outliner; I prefer to be surprised by my stories and where they take me…but sometimes this leads to very muddled, very confused drafts (and I think in turn why I’m in such a rut.) This helped A LOT. I now have a clearer direction of where I want the story to go. I know my characters better, and how their emotional development affects the plot around them. I have an ending, too, as well as a way to set up into the next book in the series and the events to follow. I also focused on ramping up the tension between the characters, and how to twine some of my most beloved characters more closely into the plot.

2. I reread what I’ve already written—and decided that it wasn’t as crappy as I thought it once was. (Or at least I know there are ways to fix it in later drafts.)

3. I found a way to fall in love with my MS again. Writers can be so focused on trying to write the perfect story we forget to take a step back, forget about its flaws for a moment, and let ourselves fall back in love with it. For me it’s been finding the root of the story and the initial inspiration which has helped. My protagonist is a wyvern-tamer, and because I was so focused on what was wrong with the story, what needed to be done, just how much further I have to go on it… I kind of forgot how badass she is, and how much fun she is to write. Writing a synopsis and query has helped me realize that, okay, so while I might still have a long way to go until this novel is done-done, I love what I currently have of it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what unknown twists will surprise me along the way.

To all the writers out there: How do YOU deal with a writing burn-out?


Currently reading: THE SONG RISING by Samantha Shannon

Currently listening to: Game of Thrones S7 score by Ramin Djawadi (!!!!)

P.S. guys: HOW GOOD WAS SEASON 7 OF GAME OF THRONES!? I was literally spellbound the entire time. From the music to the acting to the special effects… simply AMAZING. (And—well, dragons!) I need the next season NOW.

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7 thoughts on “It’s Spring! + Writing Burn-Out

  1. Great piece, it’s always inspiring to hear about someone pulling themselves out of a rut, and I’m just more than a little jealous of how much you’ve managed to accomplish in your year! Keep going, sounds like you’re really pushing yourself but succeeding at the same time 🙂

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  2. Eeep, that’s so great you’re falling back in love with that project!! This year has honestly been a really HUGE writing year for me and I’ve particularly focused on writing things that just make me love them. I’ve enjoyed writing so so much this year, unlike usual where it’s all pulling hair and drowning in chocolate. 😂So 500% YAY to we writers who are loving what we do. :’) (Also omg your pitch sounds amazing???? Anything with dragons = I am such a sucker for that.)

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    1. THANK YOU!! I’m so glad you like the sound of it, haha! I’m SO terrible at writing pitches/queries… I go through, like, a gazillion drafts/critiques before I find out that captures the story RIGHT. And it’s so, so important to love your work, right? I mean, writing IS work, and if you’re not enjoying what you’re writing… then it’s just going to be so HARD.

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  3. Your doing great. We all get into a rut sometimes, however glad to hear your making progress. Don’t let it get you down.
    It only makes you a stronger person, more willing to push through the hard rut only to come out the otherside looking at rainbows.

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